Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Albufera Lake - Valencia's Pride and Joy

Many years ago there was a TV programme which hit home with me and i found out it was based on a great book Cañas y Barro. The setting of the book is the Albufera lake in Valencia and the small town of El Palmar, hidden in the middle of the lake. I took a video there the other day which featured on one of my other sites and here I have also added a photo that I really like from the video. Enjoy.

Paella, of course is one of the iconic images of Spain and Valencia is where Paella comes from. It is nothing like the paella mixta served up in the tourist meccas though and real paella is what you can find there. El Palmar and the Albufera lake is just a ten minute drive out from Valencia and there are plenty of coaches that go there for Paella lunches too (It takes half an hour in the summer near to lunchtime).

The video shows the Albufera lake, the restaurants in El Palmar, the home of paella without actually showing paella itself I will leave that to your imagination, and incorporates a carcast talking about why you would want to go to such a lovely place to visit. Enjoy it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Valencia City Beach Loses its Blue Flag

But why? Well it turns out that the beach and the water have excellent water quality and are brilliantly clean according to the organisation that allows blue flags. However it has lost the flag because it has too many non organised sporting events and too much publicity for those events which goes against the Coast Law apparently. Now if that isn't a shocking reason to lose a flag that gives great publicity to an area I don't know what is. (Apparently it is because there is an open fight between central government and the local Valencian governement about usage of the beach)

Now I thought that a beach was for relaxing on and doing activities. The non formal nature of the events that go on, volleyball tournaments, beach soccer etc... should actually be something to celebrate. Meanwhile have a look at my video about the beach and port area of Valencia and you will see why it is so good. And also take a look at this video of a flat for rent just down by the Port where you could enjoy the beach each and every day.

Meanwhile the Valencia region has 101 blue flag beaches on its 119km of coastline. Not a bad ratio.

You can rent this flat right now for short term or long term rentals.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cheap Accommodation Competition

Now normally I would offer to find accommodation for our clients coming over, see our post at this link. But as I just cannot compete with this sort of promotion if your visit to Valencia coincides with the dates given here get yourself over to Hostel Bookers and try to get a bed for 5 cents.

Beds for 5cents - HostelBookers Birthday Giveaway

In celebration of its fifth birthday, HostelBookers is running an exciting deal – book a beach hostel for just 5 cents a night!

This discounted hostel holiday will be offered at five popular European destinations for travel between 6 and 10 July 2009, with the beds becoming available next week from 1 to 5 June.

50 beds will go on sale at the 5cents rate every day during this week at 2pm GMT, with a total of 250 beds at beach hostels in the Mediterranean on offer overall. There are no hidden costs or strings attached – travellers really will pay just 5 cents a night for their bed.

From the bustling city beaches of Barcelona and Valencia to the glitzy resort of Alghero, the discos of Corfu and laid-back Santorini, there’s a diverse range of great beach holidays available for this tiny price.

The five hostels participating in the birthday offer are Centric Point in Barcelona, Purple Nest in Valencia, Sunrock Backpackers Hostel in Corfu, Hostel D'Alguer in Alghero and Santorini Hostel in Santorini.

David Smith, Chief Operating Officer of HostelBookers, said, “We’ve had a phenomenal five years at HostelBookers, and experienced unprecedented growth. This is the first time we have run a promotion on this scale but our anniversary felt like the perfect time – it’s a way to say thank you to all our customers, and give a little something back, after all their help over the years.”

HostelBookers is also running a competition as part of the birthday celebrations – they’ll be giving away 20 ‘presents’ to customers, including £500 in cash, an ASUS 701SD Travel Laptop and a Canon Ixus 85 Digital Camera.

For further information please log on to

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Valencia Property Getting Cheaper If You Have Pounds

As you will all know the price of property in Spain rose remarkably without the prices actually rising when the Pound dropped like a stone and almost hit parity with the Euro. Well the Euro is having a few problems in the last week or so and currently it stands at around 1.14 Euros to the pound if you are doing a currency transfer to Spain. This is obviously much better than you get on the high street.

Get in touch with us if you have any need to send pounds into a Euro account any time soon as you can fix the rate now if you want even though you will only make the transfer in a few months time. Our partner companies for FX transfer will get you the best rate going.

Meanwhile, it is such a nice day that i get the feeling that the pool is looking tempting for the first time, it always looks tempting but the temperature of the water needs to be bathlike for me.

If you want to win yourself a holiday in Spain or anywhere else for that matter click below and complete a quick survey.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Guest Blog From Chris Lee

A different post today which relates to Valencia. Chris Lee runs a website called Cycle Tour Spain and the site will give you all of the information you may need about planning a route and carrying out a cycle your in Spain. Enjoy Chris' blog and click through to his links.

I’m writing this from a roof terrace in the Valencia Community, marvelling at the dark blue sea in the distance that lies above the green muddle of the orange groves through which we wander to reach the beach. These are definitely the main plus points of living on the Costa Azahar, south of Valencia city.

I’ve blogged before on the best and worst aspects of living in Spain, but what I love most about the Valencia Community is the shear randomness of it all. If there’s one thing they like here it’s making a noise, be it the annual Fallas (mid-March) festival, regular mascletàs (short daytime firework set-offs) to celebrate saint’s days or 8am wake-up calls by blunderbuss on a Sunday morning. You never know what will happen in Valencia.

One thing that is guaranteed is the quality and value of local produce – oranges, cherries, strawberries, tiger nuts (xufas) and almond-based breads and sweets – all of which tantalise the tongue and make a trip to the local market a very pleasant and cost-effective experience.

I run a website dedicated to getting on your bike and seeing off-the-beaten-track Spain on two wheels called, and – once you venture inland got away from the costas here, which can be busy, ugly and run-down in places – you get a real sense of freedom. Small towns of Arabic origin, shear mountains and dramatic off-road hiking and cycling routes, such as the Racó del Duc offer incredible variety in scenery, plus a sporting challenge (coupled with quiet roads) that one simply cannot enjoy in the more congested, flatter confines of most of the UK.

Whatever you’re into, the chances are you’ll find it in Valencia.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Planning a Day Out In Valencia

Visiting Valencia is a joy and it needn't be expensive. If you use our service to find you a cool hotel you will first have a great base to start from. Then take these tips and they will lead you to other great things to do in Valencia. Of course you can go to the big attractions, there are some mentioned below, but this is a good start.

1) Walk through the Turia gardens. This dry riverbed meanders through the city and you are never far from it. There are a whole host of attractions within it and it should be the first stop for anyone wanting to get to know how beautiful a city park can be with a bit of imagination.

2) Visit the Fallas Museum. Located near the City of Arts and Sciences (See number four) the Fallas Museum is small and intimate unlike the Fallas Fiestas themselves, and gives a great overview of what the Fallas are and how they have developed over the years. Very cheap to get in.

3) Go to the Medievel Central market. It has spent most of the last ten years under scaffolding in various parts and currently a metro station is being built to one side but inside you will find produce of every type from different parts of the World. Changes with the seasons. Springtime is just a strawberry festival

4) See the City of Arts and Sciences. In this one I say just take a camera and go there, you do not need to go it. Your camera will love you for it.

5) Walk around the old Town area called the Carmen. Here you will see how an area has character and how character can be retained by a bit of thought. Facades remain in place even when buildings are gutted and rebuilt so it doesn't lose its beauty

6) See the Holy Grail in the cathedral. Indiana Jones needn't have bothered with going to look for the Grail everywhere else as, alledgedly it is in Valencia Cathedral

7) Get yourself down to the beach and Port areas and have yourself a drink overlooking a great city beach or the America's Cup Port. Also investigate the Cabañal and Malvarrosa areas while you are there

8) Get down to the Palmar village to the South of the City where Paella restaurants are all that exist. You are surrounded by the Albufera lake which is a rice growing paradise

9) Go on the City Bus Tour as it will surprise you with the variety of things to see in the city. This costs but not too much

10) Get out in the evening and enjoy a jug of Agua de Valencia, a mixture of Vodka, Champagne and orange juice that should not be taken lightly because the hangover the next day can be brutal.

Remember that there are loads of other things to do and each person will find their own favourites. I haven't included the big ticket visits like the Bioparc Zoo, The City of Arts and Sciences Tickets, Football at Mestalla, and a multitude of events such as Formula One, Sailing regattas and more but for more information about things to do in Valencia and Spain keep an eye out for more upcoming HubPages

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday Was A Big Day - Mortgage Decisions in Spain

It has been three months more or less since the first visit of some clients but finally the bank decided yesterday that it would fund their purchase of a house in Olocau and now it just needs to be decided what the conditions are to put in place the mortgage and get the signing ready. What on Earth possessed the bank to take so long to approve what is a very simple operation is beyond me but rest assured that when you come to buy your house for sale in Spain that even if it takes three months to sort out finance we will be here supporting you all the way.

If you want to ask us for advice on mortgages and finance to buy a property in Spain just drop us a line or sign up for the newsletter and we will keep you up to the minute informed about what is going on in Valencia and Spain as a whole

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Digital Planet

I was listening to Digital Planet on the BBC this morning which you can listen to at the link. It talks about the new phone in Venezuela the Vergatario (The picture is of Hugo Chavez the Venzuelan President holding one). Now for anyone who lives in South America the name might spark a bit of hilarity as it actually is a slang term for a rather large male part of the anatomy. I was thinking about this is the context of the Spanish language and thought you might like a couple of examples of you having to be careful when you name a product.

Firstly the most well known is the Opel Kadett which wasn't known as the Vauxhall Nova because "no va" means "doesn't go" or "doesn't work" of course. This may or may not be an urban myth because all of Vauxhall's cars are Opels on the continent. However one that isn't an urban myth is the Mitsubishi Pajero. Much more hilarity ensues when you find out what that means. Pretty apt name for some of the people swanning around in 4x4's in the centre of a flat city like Valencia really.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Arriving in Valencia in Style - The Railway Station

Valencia has a fantastic station. The video speaks for itself. Have a look and next time you come into the city consider this as your arrival point instead of the car. It will be worth your while as it is right in the centre and no parking charges therefore.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spanish Cup Final in Valencia Tonight

Thanks to the Washington Post for this story, an oldie but goody. This story has been going around the place for some time now but it has just been picked up by the Americans. So here it is in all its glory. For a more irreverant view on the story go to the following link.
The picture is of a confused looking Spanish national Team in the 98 World Cup humming and making it up as they go along. If you have any suggestions (And they must include the words "Going home in the quarters" I think. Oops now they are Euro Champs!) then send them into Marca.

Spaniards never have to worry about forgetting the words to their national anthem. It has none.

Now, however, the country has embarked on trying to come up with lyrics _ a task that some see as leading to a perilous fight.

The wordless anthem has often caused consternation among onlookers from other nations at international events such as soccer matches and Olympics because all Spaniards can do is hum along to its tune.

"It gives me a very odd feeling that people should sing 'La, la, la,' or 'Chunda, chunda, chunda,'" said Alejandro Blanco, president of Spain's Olympic Committee. "Spain is a country with cheerful people who sing at any opportunity, so why shouldn't they be able to sing the words of a national anthem?"

Staunchly Catholic Spain has for centuries intoned religious rites such as the "Angelus devotion" instead of rallying round an anthem, although one existed mainly for use at military occasions.

Paradoxically, during the 1939-75 military dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, the national anthem was rarely heard and it has only re-emerged with a return to democracy in 1977.

Franco's iron grip on government and the destructive civil war that preceded it have left a nation that is divided not just along traditional regional lines _ based on the ancient kingdoms that united centuries ago to form modern Spain _ but also politically.

"I doubt very much anyone will be able to come up with words that everyone will be happy with," said Jose Guzman, a 42-year-old businessman.

Although the idea of setting words to the national anthem was first voiced by the Association of Victims of Terrorism, a group linked to the conservative opposition Popular Party, Blanco said the current initiative is free of politics.

"The politically independent Spanish Olympic Committee put forward the idea," said Blanco, who added that many sectors of society have responded with enthusiasm.

Some observers think trying to find words most people will have no qualms about intoning at public functions is going to be a near-impossible task.

"Look, Spain has so many languages, what are they going to do, set each stanza in a different tongue?" said Juan Suarez, presenter of musical radio show "La Ciudad Invisible" _ "The Invisible City" _ on national station Radio 3.

Spaniards speak at least five regional languages _ not including dialects _ and share the distinction of having no words to their anthem with a handful of countries, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose anthem was written in 1985, and tiny San Marino, whose tune was penned in 1894.

The competition to write words to the anthem is open to anyone, said Blanco, who expected the first 300 suggested lyrics from sports daily Marca on Wednesday.

Blanco said his committee expected more than 5,000 suggested lyrics to the anthem by September, when the candidates are to be assessed by parliament.

"The final choice will be left to lawmakers in government," said Blanco, who said he was convinced the outcome would unite rather than divide the country.

Yoga Retreat Hotel For Sale

This is a quite long video because the place for sale is absolutely enormous and therefore to do it justice there are lots of photos and video clips. This property has so many possibilities with its 14 (More or Less) bedrooms, loads of bathrooms, a kitchen, bar, dining area, office, therapy room, two conference or yoga rooms. Outside it has a lovely area around the swimming pool with its light and shade, shady patios and an extra plot of 3000m2 which has space for parking cars for the guests.

The house is on an estate in Chiva just a couple of hundred yards from the bus route into Valencia, a quick ten minute drive to the Bonaire shopping centre, the biggest in Spain, 15 minutes to the airport and 20 from Valencia itself.

This property should be considered for those wanting a huge place to develop a business, it has a licence as an Albergue (Rural Hotel) and used to be a restaurant too. It could also be a perfect place to have a property for groups or associations that want to use its possiblities for meetings and conferences. Currently there are many yoga retreats and self development classes run there.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cloudy and Such a Grey Day!!!

Here I am today wanting to take pictures of a lot of properties, I left my day free to do this of course, and what happens? Clouds and lots of them. A grey day as described by Madness

I suppose it was coming when I put up the video about the beach in Valencia on Saturday which you can see here It was a bit murky then.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New Accommodation Service

Based on the questions we get asked on a continuous basis I have decided to put together a new service. If you come over to Valencia for a few days or a week or so I have got together with a few of the great quality niche hotels to get you a good deal.

Now the hotel you stay in, where it is, the style etc... can make or break your stay in a city so I have decided to use my experience here in Valencia to get you the best hotels depending on your needs. Our hotels are those that offer the highest quality because they are a bit different. They range in price from basic bed and breakfasts and self catering accommodation to the high end hotels including that which you can see at this link in my video about Valencia's beach.

So when you get in touch and are arranging your visit we can now help you with the accommodation in two ways. Firstly we can get you a short term flat rental and secondly we can get you a hotel if you would prefer. We even have contacts in bed and breakfast places both in the city and in the surrounding countryside.

So next time you get in touch we will suggest using this service which will cost you 35 Euros which you can pay by Paypal if you want and if you wish that will include picking you up at the airport or meeting you and taking you directly there.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Driving Into Valencia - Hoces Del Cabriel

If you are looking for a nice day out from Valencia grab yourself a picnic and head up the Madrid motorway until you get to the turn off for the Hoes del Cabriel National Park. Things have changed around there since my first visit some 20 years ago when the trip from Madrid took about 8 hours because of the winding roads and traffic jams, these days you fly down in around 3 hours or two if you break the speed limits and are a bit mad.

The video was taken from the top of the dam which used to be the main road. The bridges you can see in the video are soon to be joined by another for the high speed rail link between Madrid and Valencia which should be complete by next year, we hope. Enjoy and keep coming back here and to for more info.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Seven Clients in Seven Days

I have been really busy this week with client after client after client. People from Holland, Ireland, Germany and the UK have visited, loved what they saw and we may well have a few sales going through again in the next few weeks.

So what has been shown. A compilation video below of the type of properties, where they are and prices that may also interest you if you are thinking of planning your trip to Valencia to buy a property in Spain then you could do a lot worse.

Rest of the week is busy too as mortgage negotiations for people, taking photos and lots of other stuff will keep me busy in the 30 degree heat.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Benimaclet Video

Benimaclet is a "Barrio" in Valencia. A Barrio is a neighbourhood of course and this is a small village that has been engulfed by the growing city but has retained its character. Take a look for yourself and if you like what you see why don't you ask us for more information by sending me an email

If you are looking for an apartment or house for sale in Spain you could definitely do worse! Come and live in the experience of Valencia

Monday, May 04, 2009

Valencia Pictures From Today

My Dad is in Valencia visiting this week and today he went strolling around Valencia, well actually he walked 21 kilometres today which is quite a bit. He took some photos using his new Camera which is a bit of a dude camera to tell the truth and below are some of the results.

Bt the way it is expected to get hotter by later this week. A stroll around Valencia looking for flats for sale in Spain can be ever so elevating as the sights and sound of the city infuse your soul. Buying houses for sale in Spain allows you living spaces in beautiful places.

So anyway have a look at some of the photos here and see what you think and how our Spanish property resale bargains can help you to get what you want in Valencia or elsewhere.

Crisis? What crisis?

Art Museum in Valencia
Art Museum in Valencia

City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia
City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia

The Umbracle in Valencia
The Umbracle in Valencia

Bridge in Valencia
Bridge in Valencia

Valencia Bridges Underneath
Valencia Bridges Underneath

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Weather News

30 Degrees in Valencia today (86ºF in the old money). I was with clients showing them round flats for sale in Valencia and the Pueblos around and realised on getting home that I was a little dehydrated. Just a little warning, if you are wandering around the city in that sort of heat make sure you get some bottles of really cold water on your travels. Then you can enjoy the city and its sights including the facades you can see here.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Short Report on Spanish Banks

Rip off Merchants! Is that short enough?

Seriously last week I saw the ads for Deutsche Bank's mortgage rate at Euribor +0.27% Now this is a rather good rate so I went to talk with them. This actual offer may be valid for about a handful of people in Spain but you would have to jump through so many hoops that it really would be a major surprise if you got any mortgage through them at all not only the headline advertised rate.

I then went to BBVA. I asked for a friend about a personal loan to pay off a credit card and have a better interest rate. They quoted me 11-12% for a personal loan. Now Euribor is currently 1.8%. I understand that the interbank rate LIBOR stands between 4-4.5% and that there is not much liquidity at that rate so in order to borrow money to lend the banks need to offer a better rate but there is liquidity at 5%. Therefore offering 11-12% interest rate is profiteering ridiculously and taking advantage of their own customers. The usual rate on a personal loan in Spain is 3% above Euribor not 10% above.

Banco Santander on the other hand were very helpful and would expect to give mortgages to non residents at Euribor plus 1.2-1.5%. That is a great deal for new mortgages as it is below LIBOR. This means they are willing to take the risk on losing a little to start up with as the usual mortgage will make money for them over 25-30 years. The CAM also came up with decent rates as did Bancaja.

What does this tell us? You need to look around for any financial product at the moment because as long as you are a decent looking client incomewise then there is finance available.

Ebay Auctions of Spanish Stuff

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Today is a new day, the sun is in the Sky. I wake up this morning and greet the new day.